For Immediate Release
Memorial to honor lives lost in Sonoma County’s unhoused community
SANTA ROSA, CA | December 14, 2023
On December 21, National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, HomeFirst and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services will host a memorial to honor individuals who lost their lives over the last year while living without housing in Sonoma County. The event will take place at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 6th St., Santa Rosa, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Every life lost will be recognized by name during the memorial service. Beatriz Ramos, Homefirst’s vice president of Emergency Housing, will speak during the event. HomeFirst will have outreach teams present to enroll interested individuals into Coordinated Entry, the county’s system used to match unhoused individuals with housing providers. A list of volunteer opportunities will be available for anyone who wishes to support the unhoused community.
“This memorial is important for homeless service providers and those that have influence over homelessness response,” said Hunter Scott, HomeFirst’s director of Coordinated Entry. “It reminds us - name by name - who we’ve lost and allows us to reflect on what further services are needed.”
HomeFirst, in collaboration with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, planned the event with input from the Lived Experience Advisory and Planning Board. LEAP, as it is most commonly known, is a board comprised of individuals who have experienced homelessness. The group provides advice and perspective regarding homelessness-related initiatives throughout the county.
For nearly 45 years HomeFirst has been a leading provider of housing services in Santa Clara County and over the past 18 months, has grown to serve the unhoused community in Sonoma County. In Sonoma County, HomeFirst operates the County’s Coordinated Entry System and oversees the Emergency Interim Housing Site, Labath Landing.
Anyone, unhoused or housed, who is interested in attending can RSVP online at bit.ly/soco-memorial.
For more information on HomeFirst visit homefirstscc.org.
For more information on the County’s Coordinated Entry System visit sonomacounty.ca.gov.